"... they seeing do not see, and hearing they do not hear, and do not understand"
In the two previous materials we examined the genesis of the sliding gate and saw that its development proceeded along two paths almost simultaneously. In the first case, a sliding bolt in the form of a piston was used in rifles under the most common for that time paper cartridges for blasting rifles. In the second, they were used in rifles, which had already fired metal cartridges with ring and capsule ignition. Intermediate type - paper cartridges for Dreize, Chasspo and Carcano needle rifles. However, such cartridges were soon finally crowded out by cartridges with metal sleeves. The latter, also at the beginning, such as, for example, the American patron Barnside, although they had a sleeve, did not have a capsule. However, they also did not exist for a long time, since the cartridges with the caps of the central battle were definitely better than them. However, the sliding gate at the turn of 60-70. XIX century. He has also established himself as the most rational and technically perfect bolt for a massive army rifle!
The Lorentz Dorn fitting, model 1854, produced in Austria-Hungary to arm its army.
Well, now, as promised, we will go on a journey across countries and continents and see what kind of rifles with which sliding gates were armed by their armies in the last quarter of the XIX and early XX centuries. The very first country on our way will be Austria, which at that time was called Austria-Hungary and had a very funny national flag with two coats of arms and three horizontal stripes at once: the top one - red, the middle one - white, and the bottom double, first red (Austria), behind then green (Hungary).
Let's start with the fact that the industrial base for the production of small weapons in Austria-Hungary created Leopold Verdl. Already at the end of 1840, more than 500 workers worked at his enterprise. He traveled to the United States, visited the Colt, Remington and Pratt and Wheatley plants and organized a case following their example. After Leopold died in 1855, his two sons inherited his business, one of whom was Joseph, and in 1863, he again went to America to the Colt and Remington factories. Returning to his hometown in Steyr, he reorganized production and eventually, in 1869, he created a first-class arms company, Oesterreichische Waffenfabriks gesellschaft (OEWG) in Vienna.
He was engaged in design activities. He designed a single-shot carbine with a crane bolt was adopted by the army of Austria-Hungary. Behind him, the successful project was the work of the Viennese gunsmith Ferdinand Frouwirth, who created an 11-mm carbine with a barrel gantry and a slide lock with locking by turning. In total, 8 cartridges were placed in it, which, if desired, could be shot in 16 seconds, and charged with six cartridges in 12. It was the first magazine carbine chambered for central combat. Tests continued from 1869 to 1872, when it was officially adopted by border guards and gendarmes. But for the army it was too fragile, so that already in 1875, its production was discontinued.
Device carbine Ferdinand Fruvirta.
At first glance, Fruvirth’s design was nothing special. Similar rifles offered by many designers and firms. However, despite the fact that the carbine was criticized for being too weak a cartridge from Rota from Hungary, it should be emphasized that it embodied many original solutions that could later be used in other, later designs, but ... no, it was truly said: “They have eyes and cannot see!”
Carabiner Fravirta. Attention is paid to the very large length of the shutter handle.
For example, the Fruvirta sliding shutter had a very long “G”-shaped grip turned 180 degrees, which was attached to the shutter on the right side at right angles. That is, it was enough to turn it in a horizontal position to disengage the bolt from the receiver. In addition, a large length is a big lever, so working with such a handle was very convenient. And what is interesting is that only after many years exactly the same long shutter handles were used, but what prevented to do it from the very beginning, as soon as she first appeared on Fruvirth's carbine? Patent rights? But they could be obtained on the method of its attachment to the bolt, but not on the length!
Mannicher rifle device with an 1882 grenade.
Whatever it was, but Austria-Hungary in the 1880 year began to look for such a sample of a rifle, so that it could serve for many years. And then Ferdinand Mannicher appeared on the stage. He was a railway engineer by education. The weapon was his hobby - that's how it was, but a hobby of such a level that in 1876, he specifically went to the World Exhibition in Philadelphia to get acquainted with the latest samples of small arms. In 1880, he designed his first rifle with a tubular magazine in the butt, then in 1881, a rifle with a middle magazine and a pusher based on a cylindrical spring, and then in 1885, and his first rifle with a middle magazine and direct action bolt next year. The cartridge for it was originally adopted by the 11,15x58R caliber, but was then replaced by 8x50R on the conversion model M1886 / 90.
It should be noted that Ferdinand Mannicher was a very creative person and he offered literally new rifles one after another. I didn’t like a rifle with a grenade launcher - here you have the middle one, but located on the top (М1882) - fig. up. Seven rounds, you can fall asleep in all directions, and no springs, and shops. Convenient, isn't it? Too many rounds? Here you have the model 1884 of the year - fig. down below. That is, everything that was popular at least for a short time - such as the shops of Fosbury and Lindner, he immediately put on his rifles and tested them, trying to find the best option.
Mannicher M1886 rifle device.
Mxnumx rifle. (Army Museum, Stockholm)
This is how the 11,15x58R cartridges looked like and the clip for this rifle. The corrugation at the top made it easy to remove from the store.
Improving this model, Ferdinand Manlicher designed the M1888 rifle, planning it under the new 8x50R cartridge with smokeless powder from the very beginning.
Mannicher M1888 rifle device.
Mxnumx rifle. (Army Museum, Stockholm)
1890 carbine devices
Cavalry carbine 1890 (Army Museum, Stockholm)
Consistently improving his rifle, Mannicher developed the 1895 model of the year, also adopted. With this rifle, Austria-Hungary participated in the First World War and produced it until 1916, when it was replaced in production with a more advanced Mauser rifle. A characteristic feature of all Mannicher rifles was a direct action bolt with a handle at the trigger level and a pack falling out through a hole in the store. An unused cartridge pack could be removed through the open bolt after pressing the retainer located in the back of the magazine, combined with the trigger guard. It was the easiest and one of the fastest rifles of the First World War.
Mannicher 1895 rifle bolt
As can be clearly seen in the graphical schemes shown here, the bolt of the Mannicher rifle consisted of two parts: internal and external. The outer one had a handle and, while moving “back and forth”, turned the inner one due to the presence of corresponding grooves and protrusions on them. When this occurred, the striker was cocked and the cartridge was locked in the chamber through two lugs located in the front part of the rotating part of the bolt. This design, of course, increased both the rate of fire and the convenience of working with a rifle, although it was quite sensitive to contamination. However, the Austrians themselves did not complain about this, as well as the allegedly possible contamination of the store through the holes for the falling of the clips. How much this hole was criticized by the Russian officers, but in real life it turned out that the dirt gets there, so it is removed through it. Whereas in stores where there was no such hole, without proper care, it accumulated in unacceptable quantities. Thanks to the use of the pack, the rifle did not require any “cut-off-reflectors” that complicated the design, although the volume of metal lost on each pack was somewhat larger than on the holder. In the 1930, it was converted to use 8x56R cartridges and was designated the M1895 / 30.
1895 rifle device of the year.
Mxnumx rifle. (Army Museum, Stockholm)
An Austro-Hungarian mountain rifleman with a carbine (the Austrians themselves called this sample a short rifle) of the 1895 model of the year.
Interestingly, Werndl himself, engaged in mass production of modern weapons, continued to engage in design work, and even invented a rifle with a double-row grenade shop. However, she was not successful.
Wrendl rifle with double row grenade magazine.
To be continued ...